The Continental Army Arrives at Valley Forge

tired-looking continental army soldiers march through a frozen field
Exhausted from a season of campaigning, soldiers and camp followers slog through the mud as they arrive at Valley Forge on December 19, 1777.

NPS Photo

Marching to Valley Forge for the Winter

By ten OClock we...march to a place Call'd Valley Forge being about five or six miles – and about Eleven oCK we Sit out, but did not arive there 'till after Sun Sit. During this march we had nothing to Eat nor to drink, but when we arrived, our Boy went to work to Bake Bread and of this we Eat like Insatiate Monsters...
~ Diary of Lieutenant Samuel Armstrong of the 8th Massachusetts regiment

The ill-supplied Continental Army marched into Valley Forge on December 19, 1777 after a tough season of campaigning against the British. The thousands of soldiers and civilians would camp here for the next six months.

One of the first orders of business for the soldiers upon their arrival at Valley Forge was securing adequate shelter to keep them warm and dry in the face of the oncoming winter weather. At first, many soldiers and camp followers slept in wedge tents and brush huts, but eventually orders came down from General Washington to construct log huts.

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2 minutes, 32 seconds

The ill-supplied Continental Army marches into Valley Forge on December 19, 1777. This is an excerpt from Determined to Persevere: The Valley Forge Encampment.

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    Valley Forge National Historical Park

    Last updated: October 6, 2023